Dr. Kao named as first Military Chair

Friday, February 1, 2013

Dr. Ray Kao, assistant professor, Department of Medicine, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry has been named the first Chair in Military Critical Care Research at Lawson Health Research Institute. Through this role, he will increase the public and academic awareness of the critical support to military health research which is undertaken by our medical professionals.

The Chair is named after Group Captain G. Edward Hall, the first dean of Medicine at Western and longest serving president at Western University. Dr. Hall served initially as a military reservist and transferred to active military service in the Royal Canadian Air Force Medical Branch at the beginning of World War II.

He led the RCAF medical research effort and studied the effects of high altitude on pilots. His research in the development of oxygen equipment and protective clothing for pilots made such a huge contribution to the Canadian and allied war effort that he was one of the very few non-aircrew officers to be awarded the Air Force Cross. He was also made an Officer of the Legion of Merit by the Government of the United States and was elected to the Royal Society of Canada. His brilliant military medical research and international reputation led to his selection as Dean of Medicine in 1944, but he delayed assuming this position until after his retirement from the RCAF at the end of the war in 1945. He became president of the university in 1947 and served in that capacity until 1967.

The Government of Canada and the CAF, with the support of their health care partners, are committed to providing a full spectrum and high standard of health care to Canada's military personnel, wherever and whenever they serve. As part of this commitment, on September 12, 2012, Minister MacKay announced an additional $11.4 million to augment mental health care and preventive programs in the CF. This initiative brings the CAF's annual health care budget to approximately $440 million.